WFU athletes win big with new sports facilities

Walk into the new Sutton Sports Performance Center and Shah Basketball Complex and you can sense the camaraderie, excitement and anticipation that comes when student-athletes have a new state-of-the-art facility supporting their competitiveness as athletes and their success as students.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 13 marked the official opening and a new beginning for Wake Forest sports. Generous support over the years from Ben Sutton (’80, JD ’83) and Mit Shah (’91) has made it possible to offer these exceptional resources to our student-athletes, coaches and staff.

“The opening of Sutton Sports Performance Center and the Shah Basketball Complex is a generational moment symbolizing Wake Forest’s commitment to achieving at the highest level of college athletics. This transformative facility is yet another enhancement to our world-class student-athlete experience.” Athletics Director John Currie
"Facilities reflect commitment. Our players are now able to have a world-class athletic experience." - Coach Dave Clawson
"We finally feel like a real Division I football program. When we show recruits, they are blown away." - Justin Herron
The nutrition area makes it easy to grab pre-workout foods to get ready for practice. - Olivia Saunders and Caitlyn Della
"The new facilities are helping us take everything to the next level for coaches and players." - Brandon Childress

Everything is centrally located in the more than 100,000 square foot facilities built with 725 tons of steel, a half-million bricks and 5,000 cubic yards of concrete.

Ben Sutton Leadership Video

Ben Sutton

Click here to see the video.

The four-level, 87,000 square-foot Sutton Sports Performance Center is connected to McCreary Football Field House, making it easy for players to move quickly from practice fields to the weight rooms to team meetings. Less time getting from place to place makes a difference in already tight schedules.

In addition to strength and conditioning facilities dedicated for football and men’s and women’s basketball, there is a strength and training area shared by men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, track & field, men’s and women’s golf, field hockey and volleyball.

Olympic Sports Strength Training and Conditioning Room – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Convenient access to sports science technology for evaluation and performance metrics puts a priority on quality over quantity in the training rooms. When they begin their strength training workouts, athletes sign in electronically to see what lifts are on their personalized plan. They check off each exercise after completing it. A video camera records the workout and uploads it to the cloud where coaches review and give feedback on how to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of time spent training.

Assistant Director, Sports Performance Kris Borthwick said the extra space has made training far more efficient. Borthwick, who oversees sports performance for the tennis teams, said he is able to have 50 athletes using the strength and conditioning room at the same time instead of the 30 that fit in the previous facility. “We save 30 minutes a day with this new space. Instead of players doing conditioning work after tennis practice, they can do it in the sports performance center after strength training.”

Enhanced sports medicine and training resources, including an expanded hydrotherapy area for football and a cryotherapy chamber for basketball, help speed recovery.

Mit Shah Leadership Video

Mit Shah

Click here to see the video.

The 24,000 square foot Shah Basketball Complex connects to the Sutton Sports Performance Center and includes a regulation court with seven goals dedicated to the men’s basketball team. Women’s basketball now has a dedicated space to practice as well. Before the Shah Basketball Complex opened, either the men’s or women’s team drove to practice at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Coliseum. Now, no team leaves campus to practice.

The Basketball Complex features a camera-based sports system providing live streaming, video and analytics to basketball athletes and coaches. The Noah Shooting System measures shots from anywhere on the court and gives instant feedback for shot arc and depth, allowing players to correct their shot in real-time. The space also includes 6,000 square feet of dedicated strength and conditioning for men’s and women’s basketball and easy access to basketball sports medicine facilities and the cryotherapy chamber.

Christian McCreary Nutrition Zone – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The Christian McCreary Nutrition Center helps fuel proper diet around the clock, with foods marked for either pre-workout or recovery.

“With student-athlete schedules, it can be difficult to refuel properly,” said Director of Sports Nutrition Kate Ruley. “Before the nutrition area opened, our athletes would have to go to other dining areas on campus. Many wouldn’t have had time to do that before class. Now they can refuel where they train with foods to help their brains and bodies recover. Already, I’m hearing feedback that our athletes are more alert and better able to focus on their academics as a result of the convenient options for quick nutrition.”

In addition to meeting nutritional needs, athletes from all sports socialize, study and relax in the Nutrition Center. Special features include a smoothie bar, gluten-free area and soft seating.

The construction of the Sutton Sports Performance Center and Shah Basketball Complex was funded through gifts by alumni athletic donors like Ben Sutton and Mit Shah. Wake Forest has raised more than $900 million for students, faculty and enhancements to the Reynolda Campus through Wake Will: The Campaign for Wake Forest.

The Future is Now Open

Introducing the Sutton Sports Performance Center and the Shah Basketball Complex

A lot of hard work and sacrifice went into building a new home for a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Check out this photo story of the new facilities.

Ribbon Cutting & Open House Video